Paul Peek (politician)

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This article is about the U.S. politician (1904-1987). For the rockabilly star (1937-2001), see Paul Peek.
Paul Peek
Paul peek.jpg
Associate Justice of the
California Supreme Court
In office
December 2, 1962 – December 16, 1966
Preceded by Thomas P. White
Succeeded by Raymond L. Sullivan
Presiding Justice of the
California Third District Court of Appeal
In office
October 1961 – December 2, 1962
Preceded by Benjamin F. Van Dyke
Succeeded by Fred R. Pierce
Associate Justice of the
California Third District Court of Appeal
In office
January 4, 1943 – October 1961
Preceded by Raglan Tuttle
Succeeded by Fred R. Pierce
21st California Secretary of State
In office
March 1, 1940 – January 4, 1943
Preceded by Frank C. Jordan
Succeeded by Frank M. Jordan
47th Speaker of the California State Assembly
In office
January 1939 – June 1939
Preceded by William Moseley Jones
Succeeded by Gordon Hickman Garland
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 71st district
In office
January 4, 1937 – March 1, 1940
Preceded by Harry B. Riley
Succeeded by Fred N. Howser
Personal details
Born (1904-06-05)June 5, 1904
West Union, Iowa
Died April 7, 1987(1987-04-07) (aged 82)
Sacramento, California
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Elizabeth
Children 2 (1 daughter, 1 son)
Residence Long Beach and Sacramento, California
Occupation Attorney
Religion Methodist

Paul Peek (June 5, 1904 - April 7, 1987) was an American attorney, Democratic politician and jurist. Peek practiced law in southern California prior to his election in 1936 to the California Assembly, where he served as Speaker during the 1939 session. He was appointed Secretary of State in 1940 and then to the Court of Appeal, in December 1942, where he served for 20 years. In 1962, Governor Pat Brown appointed Peek to the California Supreme Court. Justice Peek retired from the bench in 1966, but continued to work as a consulting attorney and teacher. He died in Sacramento.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in West Union, Iowa, Peek moved to California at age 6. He attended Oregon State University and the University of Oregon before obtaining his legal education at Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.

Peek was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1930. He practiced law in Long Beach and Los Angeles and was a member of the Long Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce (president, 1935) and the State Junior Chamber of Commerce (vice-president, 1936)[3]

Career[edit]

Peek was elected to the California State Assembly, District 71, in Los Angeles County in 1936 where he served until 1940.[4] (Speaker, 1939 session) He worked with Senator Culbert Olson to oppose legislation sponsored by the administration of Republican Governor Frank Merriam to treat oil on state lands in Long Beach and Huntington Beach in a manner favored by the oil industry. “It looks very much like we’re turning the oil pool over to private interests lock, stock and barrel,” Peek said.,[5]

Peek was appointed Secretary of State by Democratic Governor Culbert L. Olson in 1940, after the death of the long-time Republican incumbent, Frank C. Jordan. He did not win the general election in 1942, when Republican Frank M. Jordan won back the office that his father had held.[6][7]

After Jordan won the 1942 election, Governor Olson appointed Peek to the California Court of Appeal's Third Appellate District in Sacramento. He served as Associate Justice from January 1943 to October 1961 and as Presiding Justice from October 1961 to December 1962.

Peek was the author of the 1951 appellate decision overturning California’s loyalty oath. According to the Daily Bruin, the Court ruled that The Regents' action to require faculty members to sign an affirmation of non-membership in any subversive organization was a violation of the State Constitution and "That the pledge is the highest loyalty that can be demonstrated by any citizen, and that the exacting of any other test of loyalty would be antithetical to our fundamental concept of freedom.... [any other decision would] approve that which from the beginning of our government has been denounced as the most effective means by which one special brand of political or economic philosophy can entrench and perpetuate itself to the eventual exclusion of all others . . ." Any "more inclusive" test of loyalty would be the "forerunner of tyranny and oppression," the document added. [8]

Peek was appointed Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court by Governor Pat Brown in 1962. He retired from the bench in 1966. After retiring from the Supreme Court, Peek practiced law in Sacramento, with the firm of Wilke & Fleury.[9]

Appointments, boards and memberships[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ State of California Courts official site, accessed 10/07/2006
  2. ^ Social Security Death Index Search, accessed 02/25/2006
  3. ^ a b c Regents of the University of California Biographies, accessed 10/07/2006.
  4. ^ California's State Capitol Museum, Legislative History, accessed 02/25/2006
  5. ^ US Department of the Interior, "Public Policy, Oil Production, and Energy Consumption in Twentieth-Century California", page 139, accessed 10/7/2006
  6. ^ Frank C. Jordan was Secretary of State from 01/01/1911 and his son, Frank M. Jordan held the office from 01/01/1943 until 04/03/1970--a run of 15 consecutive electoral victories for "Frank Jordan." Both died in office.
  7. ^ California Secretary of State, History of California State Office Holders, accessed 10/07/2006
  8. ^ Daily Bruin, University of California at Los Angeles student newspaper, Vol. 39, Winter-Spring 1951, Issue No. 41, Apr. 9, 1951, "Oath declared invalid: Decision reinstates instructor", accessed 02/25/2006, bad link 10/07/2007
  9. ^ Wilke & Fleury, "Looking Back with Sherman C. Wilke", accessed 02/25/2006, page has a 1999 copyright date: “... Wilke met Paul Peek, former Speaker of the Assembly, Secretary of State, Justice of the Third District Court of Appeal and Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, when both had sons in the Boy Scouts. Upon Peek’s retirement from the court, he practiced with Wilke at Wilke & Fleury....”
  10. ^ UC Berkeley history site, accessed 10/07/2006
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard, accessed 10/07/2006
Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas P. White
Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court
December 2, 1962 – December 16, 1966
Succeeded by
Raymond L. Sullivan
Preceded by
Benjamin F. Van Dyke
Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal
Third District

October 1961 – December 2, 1962
Succeeded by
Fred R. Pierce
Preceded by
Raglan Tuttle
Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal
Third District

January 4, 1943 – October 1961
Political offices
Preceded by
Frank C. Jordan
California Secretary of State
March 1, 1940 – January 4, 1943
Succeeded by
Frank M. Jordan
Preceded by
William Moseley Jones
Speaker of the California State Assembly
January 1939 – June 1939
Succeeded by
Gordon Hickman Garland
Preceded by
Harry B. Riley
California State Assemblyman
71st District

January 4, 1937 – March 1, 1940
Succeeded by
Fred N. Howser